An investigation of disabled women's perceptions of HIV and AIDS and aspects of sex and sexuality in three South African provinces

Basson, Melanie (2010-12)

Thesis (MA (Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:A lack of research on disabled women and HIV and AIDS within the South African context has been identified by various authors. The present research is a qualitative investigation into the lived experience of seventeen disabled South African women. Their knowledge of and attitudes towards HIV and AIDS and sex and sexuality, their lived experience with regards to these issues, as well as to sexual abuse, rape and violence, and their access to HIV related health care services is explored in the present study. Semi-structured questionnaires were employed. Content analysis revealed that most participants knew of HIV and of ways of HIV transmission, and slightly fewer of them knew where to access HIV and AIDS related health services. The vast majority of participants reported that they saw no difference between sexual practices and sexuality of disabled- compared to non-disabled people. Misperceptions of others’ with regard to the sexuality and sexual practices of disabled people were identified as the main barriers to disabled women’s equal access to HIV and AIDS related health services, and to their freedom of choice and expression in terms of sex and sexuality. Almost all of the women had been subjected to rape, sexual abuse and violence.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ‘n Tekort aan navorsing oor gestremde vroue en HIV en VIGS binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks is deur verskeie outeurs geïdentifiseer. Die huidige navorsing is ‘n kwalitatiewe ondersoek na die lewenservarings van sewentien gestremde Suid-Afrikaanse vroue. Hulle kennis van, ervanrings rondom en houdings teenoor HIV en VIGS, seks en seksualiteit, seksuele mishandeling, verkragting en geweld, en kwaliteit van toegang tot HIV en VIGS-verwante gesondheidsdienste word in hierdie studie ondersoek. Semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is met die vroue gevoer, en inhoudsanalise is toegepas. Bevindinge sluit in dat die meeste vroue van HIV en van oordragsmetodes bewus was. ‘n Effe kleiner groep van deelnemers was bewus van presies waar om toegang tot HIV en VIGS-verwante gesondheidsdienste te verkry. Die oorgrote meerderheid van die vroue het geen verskil gesien tussen die seksuele praktyke en seksualiteit van gestremde en nie-gestremde persone nie. Die wanopvattings van ander (nie-gestremdes) rakende seksuele praktyke en seksualiteit van gestremde persone is aangedui as die grootste struikelblok tot die vroue se gelyke toegang tot HIV en VIGS-verwante gesondheidsdienste, asook tot hulle vryheid van keuse en uitdrukking in terme van seksuele praktyke en seksualiteit. Bykans al die vroue in hierdie studie is al blootgestel aan verkragting, seksuele mishandeling en geweld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5136
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